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ADVICE, Prioritize and Utilize. Arriving At the Best Solutions

Updated on January 2, 2017
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Paula has freelanced for nearly 40 years. She has a passion for her forte of Behavioral Science & continuing education in this field.

Ask, Listen, Learn, Decide
Ask, Listen, Learn, Decide

Will you please make up my mind?

Having a tough time making a decision on a really important issue? Don't you hate it when this happens? Chances are too, the more important to you the issue is, the more difficult the process of decision-making becomes. You try all the suggested tips you've collected, like finding a quiet spot with pen and paper to jot down random thoughts on the subject. Hopefully you've included the tried and true, Pro & Con columns. This is why I should and these are the positive points. This is why I shouldn't and these are the negative points.

Wait just a minute. At this rate you could consume hours of time and energy simply arguing with yourself. Being your own opponent is hardly the way to arrive at a final decision. Think about it. Doesn't this sound more to you like indecision?

Words to live by
Words to live by

Never fear....Help is near

More often than not, finding yourself faced with the dilemma of indecision is in reality, a temporary lack of confidence.....a momentary slump in your self-assurance. The truth is, you really have come to an intelligent decision but Mr. Doubt N. Question insists upon poking holes in your comfortable bubble. Relax. Stop fighting with him. The next logical step is to seek outside wisdom, support and confirmation from your favorite mentors. Actually, the guy next door will do since you only intend to bounce your own thoughts off the poor man.

This is the truth. This is how it really is, isn't it? All you need is that one person to listen, agree and reconfirm that your plan is perfect. You're simply looking for that nod of agreement...just a little validation.

You need to beware my friend. It's quite possible you may choose yourself an individual who believes you have presented a quandary to which you'd like opinions. What follows will be some good old-fashioned advice. That's right. Trust this will happen. People love to give advice. We all like to feel needed. After all, you honor someone by asking their opinion....expect them to shower you with their wisdom. Suggestions will pour forth until gushing and any number of variations to your decision will deserve mention.

You may find yourself agreeing that perhaps the advice is worth your attention, even as your head spins. The result may be that you begin to entertain a sort of combination, blending some of your decisions with a few of his suggestions. This is fine. It will still work as you'd like it to. That is, until you approach someone else and still in search of that nod of approval....that good friend who will tell you, you've made the perfect decision. No criticism here. It's understandable. We all do this now and then. It's human nature to seek approval.

Sorting it all and coming to terms...
Sorting it all and coming to terms...
So much help...so few solutions
So much help...so few solutions

How do you steer a boat load of advice?

Gotta hand it to you. You've managed to collect a healthy amount of advice from well-meaning friends.... your brother, your boss and no doubt you ran this issue past ask.com. If by luck you can find your original decision amongst the heap, you might be able to assemble a picture, vaguely similar to it. You're on your own from here.

Let's face it. The truth is, you can feel pretty good about the fact that all these people care enough about you to help you find the very best way to handle your issue. Many folks would pay a hefty sum for this much advice and assistance. Consider yourself lucky and loved.

Feeling you know yourself best of course, yet also understanding that sometimes a more objective view could be what's needed, you start the process of weighing the options.


What do you think?

Are you open to seeking & accepting advice from others?

See results

Advice from Kids!! Precious! SMILE!

First line....bottom line
First line....bottom line

Mixing all ingredients = Sound decision

Getting back to your original issue....if it happens to be of a personal nature, no doubt your heart has it's own agenda, while your reason and common sense are on leave of absence. Are we really the best source of sound and rational thinking for major life decisions in matters of the heart? Some would say, "absolutely, we are." Imagine leaving your heart in the care of those who know little about it....what it needs....most importantly, what it desires. We must not allow this to ever happen, for in the end, we are the keepers of our heart and the nurturers of our soul.

Begin to place the pieces before you and look them over carefully. Study each and every thought, idea and word of advice. Consider all the possibilities and don't forget potential loose ends and rough spots. Think about your own success with prior achievements and how you got there. Consider all the tools to your avail, the facts and information you worked so hard to gather. Sprinkle with the ideas and advice so generously given to you by wise, experienced men and women. They too have proven time and time again to emerge victorious. There is value in their advice. Use it to your benefit.

With grace and intellect, you'll reach that decision. You weigh it once and perhaps once again, until you're sure that all the pieces have been placed where they should be.

Sure, you'll realize you could have done this alone.....relying on your own equations and solutions but by seeking validation and confirmation, you feel that confidence you needed. You're assured the decision is now the only one to make and with a little help from your friends there are no more doubts or concerns.

The only wisdom that has value is the wisdom that is shared. Keep your mind open to gifts of wisdom and keep your eye on the goal.


Would you take advice from Steve Jobs?

Making a decision? Just ask for "HELP!"

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  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Thank you for believing my advice is valuable! I pride myself on using mind, heart, soul and common sense. :) Peace!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 24 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Right you are, Glenn......I find myself listening to someone give what they believe is very sound advice. However, a closer look at the mess they've made of their own life, leads me to using common sense.

    We really do have to be cautious as to whom we listen to and wade thought the varied list of suggestions using our own intellect.

    In the past, my sister and I always ran vital issues past one another. This was great because we knew one another so very well, not to mention we were familiar with our background and upbringing. I miss her wisdom and to be perfectly honest, haven't encountered anyone who quite makes the grade.

    I am one of those individuals who refuses to make impulsive decisions, so it can take me a lot of time and research to come to an acceptable solution. Bottom line is, if you've done your best and feel at least 90% certain, I'd say we've done a fine job.

    Thanks for visiting. Your input is appreciated!

  • Glenn Stok profile image

    Glenn Stok 24 months ago from Long Island, NY

    You ended this with the most important statement - "Keep your eye on the goal." Many people lose track of that. They ask for advice, but they don't realize that good advice may hurt their ego sometimes.

    As you mentioned, some people just want someone to agree with them. That may or may not be useful, depending on how well they did their own due diligence. If they are on the right course, then confirmation is useful. But if they need to be redirected on a different course, they first have to decide if they want to accept that advice.

    Looking at it from the other side, I love to get advice. But I also need to be sure the person giving it has the knowledge to give good advice on the particular subject.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Yes, au fait, we are indeed on the same page! Thanks so much for visiting and your thoughtful comment as always. I appreciate your input. Funny how we seem to know who NOT to ask for advice.....because they're pretty infamous for giving it full force without being asked!! LOL. Patience is a virtue. It IS, right? I hate expending such energy for naught!

  • Au fait profile image

    C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

    When making decisions about things, what's the best product to buy, etc., or about what should I do about this or that, I like to consult people whose judgment I trust and I also go online to see if I can find any help there. Sometimes I can, sometimes not. I like to gather all the information I can and then weigh it and make my decision with all that info in mind.

    When it comes to dealing with people, I think it's best to let it rest for a while whenever possible. Time can sometimes resolve things better than I can -- usually, in fact.

    And sometimes it doesn't really matter. So often I see people getting their undies in a bundle over things that in the long run couldn't matter less. Things that just aren't worth a battle much less WW III. Semantics often play a big role in misunderstandings, too.

    If someone asks my advice I give it, but have no expectations that they will follow it. If they are like me, they will gather lots of advice and then think it all through. Possibly mix it up and take a little advice from several sources.

    Everyone must make a decision for themselves that suits their values and lifestyle and all those people who will be affected. What works for me may only work a little for them or not at all. I know this and so I'm moving on to something else. I may or may not ever know if they've followed my suggestions. Either way, I have places to go and people to meet . . .

    Seems like we're on the same page here. ;)

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Thanks, midget....Thank goodness we learn about needing to take our brain along where ever we go and especially when making decisions! And how do we learn this, midget? HA!! By making a number of decisions without our brain attached!!!.....It's called "Live & Learn," right, my friend?? LOL

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    Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

    So much truth in that, Paula! Follow your heart but take your brain with you. So many of us listen without considering the full weight of what is being said! Thanks for sharing..and will pass this wise advice on.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    and hope that the info you get on google is more useful or even accurate.......who do we go to to check out the Google sites?? LOL. Thanks Alocsin.... I usually listen to sound advice and combine it with my own if that happens to make sense and HOPE for the best outcome!

  • alocsin profile image

    alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

    The one thing about advice in the modern age is that you can Google any that people give you to check its usefulness. Voting this Up and Interesting.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Au fait....you have the right attitude.......Hasty decisions are rarely sensible....and must only be made in emercencies. People who insist that everything happen "yesterday," will usually regret for many tomorrows....

  • Au fait profile image

    C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

    Lots of good food for thought in this hub! In personal relationshiops, having patience and giving time a chance will often bring a better solution than taking immediate action. Voting you up and useful! Will share.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Sandra...Thanks so much.....good to see you. I appreciate the vote and share!

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    Sandra Busby 4 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

    Great Advice. and beautiful hub. Voted up and shared.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Thanks Midget......Glad you enjoyed this hub....everyone likes to give advice and sometimes it's helpful....sometimes it just gets more confusing,,,,,,,,,Thanks!

  • midget38 profile image

    Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

    I agree, we should not dispense advice when 1) people know what they want to do, but just need a listening ear 2) when we're not in the position to say anything, even though we may be tempted to help. It may just confuse the issue for the person with the quandary.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Bruce.....I'm glad you had fun because your comment is fun to read! The Quakers must be very wise people.....they're pacifists, are they not? Good reason to have a clearness committee. Less reason for people to get angry and crazed over attempting to make a decision! Thank you, dear man.

  • Born2care2001 profile image

    Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

    Hi Paula!

    Fabulous hub, of course! I had difficulty deciding how to respond...let's see...great content, super author, tough subject at times. Ok, so it wasn't so tough after all. All I had to do was to sit down and read it, then let my head go to work...Uh oh, not that! Crap, now I have to rethink this whole thing. Apparently I wasn't paying attention when I thought everybody's gonna say that. Be more original Bruce...LOL

    I know you get the point.

    BTW, for those who really do have a tough time gaining clarity, the Quakers developed a process in the 60's (1660's that is) called a "clearness committee" which is still used very effectively today to help those who may want or need to find answers that only their "inner teachers" can offer.

    Voted up and all over the place...I think...no wait, yeah...that's write!!! (having fun with the word!)

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    OK! A validation for you to validate that we all search for "validation!!"

    Who could ask for more??!! LOL. You're welcome, M.T. I sure know who I'd ask about "financial" advice!!

  • Millionaire Tips profile image

    Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

    You have described so perfectly how I make decisions. I go to people for validations, but only receive more advice which I need to process. Eventually though, it is the combination of the advice that gives me the confidence that I have reached a good decision. It is confusing while going through it, but thank you for validating that it is a good strategy. Voted up!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    It's a DEAL..........although I know we're both kidding....I'm sure your hubby adores you just as you are...as mine does me! I'd say we're a couple of lucky chicks! But of course, girlfriend, THEY are luckier! :)

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Only if you TALK to mine...hee-hee!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Maria......Would you TALK to my husband??? Thanks! you're a real pal. I love you too! LOL

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Paula,

    You are a pro at presenting matters of a perplexing nature in a pleasing manner.

    You can teach without the preach and you make some sense as well...I love the way your mind thinks. Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

    lol! missed your reply! here's a thought. evidently marbles, if they are old, are worth a lot of money! so when you recover, collect them up and take them to auction! lol!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    AWW shucks...ya make me blush!

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

    I am fortunate that I have awesome advice right at my fingertips...TY my Effer!!!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Hmmmm.....tarot cards? Never have consulted them, Nell Rose.....maybe I should. But I have thrown a box marbles in the air above my head........If only 2 or 3 bop me on the head, I know I'm on the right track....as soon as I come to. Think that's a good idea? Maybe that explains why I'm a bit daffy!

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

    Great advice Paula, I think most of my advice coming from my brain is biased, so getting help from someone else with a fresh idea is great! the one thing I do if I have nobody around to answer my questions is to get the Tarot cards out, I know we are not supposed to read them for ourselves but they are great to throw down and see what answer comes up, purely because they give you an idea of something we haven't even thought of. The Angel cards are the best for this, straight forward info! can't be wrong! lol!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Keith....Ruchira....& prasonline......I thank you for visiting and leaving thoughtful comments......when it comes to advice, I think we all have an inner guide that helps us sort through all the inside and outside offers.....until we reach that place that makes us the most comfortable!!

    Wishing you all a wonderful night.

  • prasonline profile image

    Prasanna Marlin 4 years ago from Sri lanka

    Good project. well done. very interesting hub. Voted up

  • Ruchira profile image

    Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

    Paula

    Well said indeed.

    We are intelligent souls and get loads of advice from our species when in rut. It is up to us and our convience on how we tackle those bunch of advices and trod along our usual path.

    Voted up as useful, interesting and sharing it across

  • profile image

    KDuBarry03 4 years ago

    Great tips for advice, Paula! It's always good to weigh the pros and cons from both outside and inside perspectives. Always have your mind and heart working as a team :) Great hub!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Mohan....My goodness...such wonderful compliments. I've officially fallen in love....again. You may even convince me to unconditionally forgive Pigsty!!.......Thank you, Miracle Medicine Man.

  • Docmo profile image

    Mohan Kumar 4 years ago from UK

    She is hot, funny, ballsy, bright and wise. Every time I read your hub, I 'm discovering a new strand to your colourful tapestry of talents. Paula, i love the way you have steered' the boatload of advice' through churning waters of indecision. awesome!

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    Great tips. Sometimes we do need validation. Still, we have the option to weigh the pros and cons from an outsider's perspective. Best of all I love the saying " Follow your heart but take your brain with you". Rationalization of every decision is very important.

    Voted up.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    The advice from a tree seems to be very popular....It's wall art that can be purchased online....just google tree advice!! Thanks for the visit!!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Coge....I guess that's why there's much truth to the fact that "nothing remains as tragic forever, as it seems when it first happens.".............but I've been where you were and it can be devastating to deal with, until the sun starts shining again!!

  • suzettenaples profile image

    Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

    Paula: Great advice on giving advice! Just listening is such an important part of helping someone with a big decision! Well written and well done!

  • Cogerson profile image

    Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

    The sign of a true friend....the ability to tell the truth....even if it cuts the person being told the cold hard truth. Facing reality is not always easy to do....but a friend can sometimes make it impossible to ignore it.....glad you liked my story.

    Ten years ago...this month....I thought life would never be sweet again....now ten years later that timeframe seems like a bump in the road...versus the road destruction I thought it was back then.

  • unknown spy profile image

    IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

    Wonderful advice! i love the pic of tree and the quote on it.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Coge.....I feel honored you shared your story with me...and it does explain, quite well, what happens when we receive gifts of advice....people always mean well and only want to help. I am the kind of person(friend) like the friend who gave it to you straight...no sugar-coating....no pampering. It may seem brutal at the time, but 98% of the time, it turns out to be the BEST advice. When we're going through a rough time, the sooner we face reality, the sooner we can hop on the road to healing and getting on with our life....

    Break-ups are very difficult....we think we will never get over it. But, as you found out....we do!! Thanks so much Coge. I always appreciate your input.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    teaches....Thank you.....Yes, I like the Tree advice too. I may just buy one of those wall arts to hang in my home. You're so right. It never hurts to hear what others think, when you're wrestling with a decision! Peace, teaches.

  • Cogerson profile image

    Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

    I think the best point in the hub is...you should be fortunate enough to have so many people in your life that are willing to give advice....not saying that you do not make a ton of other great points in the hub....lol. I liked how you included the tree poem as well.

    I always view the advice I get as pieces of a huge puzzle.....I remember when....WARNING WARNING sad tale coming......my ex-wife and I were breaking up for good....I was heartbroken and not a happy Cogerson......all my friends knowing I was hurting....offered advice that was about how things would work out between us....that time heals all .....suggestions on how to put our marriage back together....in other words all their advice was really just trying to make me feel better.....but I had one friend who actually did not worry about my feelings and gave me the hard cold facts about my marriage and the fact that it was over....at the time I did not like him for this advice....but over time I came to realize that he was the only one willing to tell the truth no matter how much it hurt.

    So going back to my puzzle theory.....most of my friends had small pieces of the puzzle but that one friend had the biggest and most important piece of the puzzle. YOU HAVE NOW REACHED THE END OF THE SAD PART.

    Sorry I went off subject...but this is where your hub took me and memories....voted up and interesting....and thought provoking.

    Epilogue: Cogerson bounced back....is happily married....has two new daughters.....and writes for HubPages.....and has won 3 hubbies....lol.

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    Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

    I love the tree poem, so true to human life as well. Your words are wisdom and great advice to follow. I think it is important to weigh all advice, as you mention here, it helps to make the right choice.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Thank you, Your Highness.....I feel so royally blessed, receiving a response from the Queen herself!! OK, that's the last remark about you being a Queen....promise. I just had to do it. I'm a pain in the A$$ that way. LOL........Glad you liked my advice about advice, ...I can't help but smile when I think of my sister giving me advice....she always prefaced it with, "I have no idea why I am about to waste my precious time......you have never listened to anyone's advice in your life!" I think she may have known me a bit too well!!.LOL Peace, GF!!

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

    "Being your own opponent".... I think I've been in that situation once or twenty times or so....only the smartest gal in the room knows for sure!

    In addition, you have added words of wisdom, "by seeking validation and confirmation, you feel that confidence you needed"... Nice job Effer with your ever bubbling wit so subtly thrown in. I always love reading a hub you've written, especially when you're giving advice about advice ;)

    Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Thanks Rosemary....You're right! I guess this is why we ask for opinions! It's just a really good idea!!

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    Rosemary Sadler 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

    Great hub. I think its always good to run something past those with experience, they may bring up something you hadn't considered. And of course yes it does give you confidence.

    Awesome and well written hub.

    Thumbs UP and more

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    pop....I'd bet my last dollar, you have an enormous PRand CON sign hanging on the wall at the Inn......and just about anyone could guess what the TOPIC is!! 27 days? and counting....or did I miss a day?

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    banks..........Trees give the BEST advice.....they usually agree with us!...thank you for reading my hub....I can always count on you.

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    bankscottage 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

    Great advice Paula. Also, great advice from a tree.

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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Marcy.....DRAT! You've exposed my covert operations! Shhhhh...please don't tell the others. I will have no topics to write about!.......Thanks, ....you've made me chuckle.

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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Jools....Yes...you are right! We do eventually go with our own decisions....but it's good to get a feel or two from others.....I've been swayed a time or two by some more experienced than myself.....BUT THAT WAS A HUNDRED YEARS AGO...LOL...before I became the smartest gal in the room lmao!!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    mj....TREES are very old and very wise. I believe they CAN give advice. If not, at least they bring a feeling of calm and peace! You can order that Tree Advice wall art, online!! just google "tree advice."......I like it too!

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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    bill....I think Im coming apart at the seams! Have you ever written a great comment, and then left the site BEFORE posting it? Oh, dear, I think I need a vacation. I just did that with a reply I left for you. Can't go out in cyber space to collect it, can I? damn!!

    Our good friends are great at listening and cheering us onward. I'd say it's because they know us so well!...........Thanks bill.

  • breakfastpop profile image

    breakfastpop 4 years ago

    I love the idea of the lists, pro and con. When the cons outweigh the pros, a decision becomes very clear. Up and useful!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    OMG - you followed me around and then wrote a hub about it! Yep - that's me. And you are so right about the confidence and (for me) peace we get when we overcome indecision. Great advice!

  • Jools99 profile image

    Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

    Paula, very interesting hub and I like your point about arguing with yourself - we've all done that, chewed over things back and forth and it achieves absolutely nothing so I like this 'shared' approach to advice but I still think that a lot of people still do whatever they wanted to do anyway, even after the sharing has taken place :o)...it's only later that they kick themselves!

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    mjkearn 4 years ago

    Hi Paula

    Great job and great advice. Living in the country I talk to the trees a lot more so when Coco the doggy puts a paw over her nose to say "give me a break and just take me for a walk".

    Love the tree pic or poster. I'd like that hanging on the wall.

    Great hub. Great job. Voted up and ticked.

    MJ.

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    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Pure luck that I saw this; usually by the evening I'm not looking for new hubs.

    Great advice of course, and the reasons you gave for indecision are spot on....the decision is an important one AND there is a little lack of confidence going on. Yep, talking it out does help AND my best friends are the ones who will just listen without giving advice. They may ask questions to steer me to a new avenue, but they rarely tell me what I should do.

    Love it! Have a great remainder of the week.

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